SkyCity gets government warning over online ad

SkyCity Entertainment was given a formal warning by the Department of Internal Affairs for breaching the Gambling Act after it emailed loyalty customers in March, saying that its online casino was still open for business despite the Covid-19 lockdown.

The New Zealand-based operator has a Malta-based online unit that offers services to New Zealanders. Although it’s not against the law for locals to gamble on these sites, it is against the law to advertise them.

Local media reports cited department spokesperson Chris Thornborough as saying SkyCity did not intentionally set out to breach the Act.

“So a formal warning is appropriate and proportionate,” he said, speaking to RNZ. “We expect SkyCity to exercise a high level of caution in future to avoid breaching the Act. The department will take any future breaches seriously.”

The operator said its email had been to inform customers of the impact of the coronavirus on the business.